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>> welcome to the broadcast. tonight kurt andersen talks about his new book, a look at the global economic crisis. >> my premise is that it is a rare historic opportunity where this long boon began in the early 80s suddenly began crashing down at the same time that this long conservative political era ended. that rarely happens in american history. we go back and forth and the whole history, politically and economically is this cycle going back and forth. but to have these two big long powerful eras end, come crashing down at once, we suddenly have a table to put back upright, reset. and lots of things are on it that weren't before. >> we continue with paul giomatti and director sophie barthest talking about their new movie "cold souls" >> she feels overburdened.
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he's taking on this other russian characters fraught soul so i think he just feels like he's got a surplus of thing goesing on. so maybe he'll relieve himself of something and make it easier for him. and it does make it in his mind easier for him to do. >> they try not to give any definition of the soul but just be playful with the metaphor that you can either let it shrink or you can take care of it and try to expand your soul. it is like a issue of feelings and mood. >> we conclude with lord peter levene, the largest oldest insurance market. >> for the last three or four years we will have yaruous -- various finance houses coming along saying you're come sitting on a lot of cash. we have great ideas for to you use that cash and they will be quite complex and we look at them say very kind of you but thank you very much. >> and you miss your chance to make a lot of money. >> well i have to say today
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it being self-satisfied with about it, we can say boring is beautiful. >> andersen, giomatti, and pevene, next captioning sponsored by rose communications from our studios in new york city, this is charlie rose. >> rose: the global economic crisis has caused us to question many fundamentals. such as what is the nature of our economy?
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why do we consume so much? is america still a global leader? when you peruse the book shelves and read the op ed pages you see titles like a failure of capitalism. big government ahead. america the tarnished. now comes kurt andersen who examines how we got here and where we go in a new book, reset, how the cries kiss restore our values and renew america. it grew out of a essay he wrote in "time" magazine called the end of excess. i'm pleased to have our friend kurt andersen back at this table. >> you just saw me do a program on iraq an afghanistan. so what are your thoughts about america's efforts there and the risks that we have that afghanistan becomes a long slog as iraq became. >> it may welcome that. and that was a great show, to talk about. because i don't think as your guest said that people, americans generally understand what a -- what a large engagement afghanistan
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may become. i do think the fact that this obama administration, a guy who after all got elected as the anti-war candidate of the two leading democratic candidates has proven himself to be not any kind of cut and run dove at all. and to me, and this does work into the reset idea, i think we have gone from the vietnam syndrome which led to us recoil from any military power anywhere to you know, in small increments up to iraq into thinking that we were no longer subject to the normal rules of cost benefit when it comes to exercising foreign power. >> rose: and the idea of offensive power, that we had a military so much superior to everybody else we could do whatever we wanted. >> precisely and i think we learned that lesson. and i'm hopeful, i'm hopeful that this administration is willing to engage in a muscular park in places like afghanistan but is not -- does not suffer from the hubris that we have recently suffered from.
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>> rose: in terms of iraq, should we accelerate the withdrawal, should we be very cautious about not leaving too early. should we do all of the above? >> well, given where we are today versus where we were two years ago, you know, we all are crossing our fingers and saying a collective whew. >> rose: did people on the left get it wrong about the surge because they didn't, and the surge turned out to be a thing that gave us new opportunity? >> without question. it seems to me that's true including barack obama who was wrong about the surge. because in the politics of 2006/2007 and running up to the presidential election, naturally the issue became divided in this very black and white way. are you either for getting out right now or you are for staying in until we finish the job. and of course the truth as it off sen is somewhere in between. >> someone said that liberals got the invasion right and the surge wrong and theyo cons an conservatives got the
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invasion wrong and the surge right. >> that's right. i think that's true and, and in terms of what -- how slowly and carefully and deliberately the obama administration is withdrawing, i think he, they understand that this, that indeed the surge, the last couple of years have worked well. better than we had any right to expect and that they're trying not to mess it up. >> rose: you are an acknowledged swooner, are you not. >> i swooned during the election. >> rose: you acknowledged it too. >> absolutely. >> rose: you said count me among the swooners. >> absolutely, yeah. to me, i mean, as soon as he -- my swooning phase ended the moment he was elected, really. which isn't to say i fell out of love with him but it was like now he's the president, okay. let him be the president. so. >> rose: there a limit to your swooning, isn't there. >> there is. as soon as the person is president -- and except for my wife. but as soon as he's president then for me my whole attitude changed.
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now he should be judged by the normal standards of judging executives. >> rose: let's go through them. leadership. >> i think he's done, has done as well as he one could imagine on the leadership. >> rose: foreign policy. >> i agree there, i think he's been properly tough with, for instance, israel. i think he's been careful, as i say in the iraq situation. i can't fault him on foreign policy. so maybe i'm still a swooner. >> rose: well, we'll get to that. but there is also this thing which is very interesting. it is the importance of language and speeches. i mean i talked to someone who used to be in our profession who is now inside the administration who said to me i never understood how important speeches were. and especially to this group. they lay out strategy. they use it as a forum to really speak to people in
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the same way that president kennedy did when he went to american university, et cetera. >> well, i have thought from early on in the obama campaign that ronald reagan was very much his model. that he is the democrat's version of ronald reagan. and understands communication. ronald reagan was a great communicator. barack obama wants to be a great communicator and barack obama has the greater virtue of being a very -- writer as well. so he kind of brings it, it seems to me in the realm of trying to explain to the world and his citizens what -- what ought to be done. >> so so far he's done no wrong. >> no, he's done plenty of wrong and certainly domestically. i mean i -- it remains to be seen if his approach to trying to do health care and cap and trade and all these things a all at once and b the way he's doing it, i don't know that he should have capitulated to nancy pelosi and the liberal
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leadership of the house of representatives on health care. that may be a big mistake. it remains to be seen. >> do you have an idea about it. how long does it have to remain to be seen. >> until we see if we gets a bill-passed i guess. >> rose: he will get a bill passed but what kind of bill. >> it is, and as people have said presidents often are very consciously try to be not the president that came before them. and in his case --. >> rose: bill clinton. >> but you look back at '93, '94, '95, the clinton health-care program going down in flames. this administration is obviously trying to avoid that. maybe to a fault by letting congress tinker and talk for too long. >> rose: it really is true when you think about history. fdr did not want to be hoover, obviously. ronald reagan did not want to be jimmy carter. george bush did not want to be bill clinton. bill clinton did not want to be george bush 4 -- he wantsed to make sure -- >> and we as an electorate have the same instinct. we elect jimmy carter
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because he is the anti-next on. we elect this incredible --. >> rose: because he was the anti-carter. >> and barack obama because he is the anti-bush so it is a duet between the electorate and these presidents. >> rose: what do you think about clinton's trip to north korea. >> good use of bill clinton and i am deeply fascinated, endilessly fascinated with north korea and if, indeed, king jom il made some special request transmitted through these women that he held prisoner to get bill clinton, you know, if you wrote that in a screenplay t would be a little unbelievable. >> rose: that in fact he actually, that they, in fact, even though they crossed the border, whatever they did. >> yeah. >> rose: grabbed, got the attention of the north koreans they saw it as an opportunity and will use these people as a pawn and a hostage and will get bill clinton here so we can somehow speak to the new administration. >> speak to the new administration. >> rose: that is the machiavellian strategy maybe they were operating on. >> or maybe a narrower
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strategy machiavellian strategy of just internally saying look, i'm still the great leader and i can get a former president to come here and appear in a photo op with me. >> more than photo op. he sat down with all the major figures for three hours. >> it's about respect. i mean as others have said. the respect as a motive in the world's affairs is not to be overstated, i think. >> rose: let's turn to reset. how this crisis can restore. so your premise is -- >> my premise is that it is a rare historic opportunity where this long boom began in the early 80ss, suddenly came crashing down last fall at the same time that this long conservative political era ended. that rarely happens in american history. we go back and forth and the whole history, politically and economically is this cycle going back and forth. but to have these two big long powerful eras end, come crashing down a at once. we suddenly have a table to put back upright, reset.
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and lots of things are on it that weren't before. we weren't talking seriously about health care before. we weren't talking seriously about regulation of wall street before. we weren't talking seriously about energy before. suddenly and not just because of democratic president is in office. all these open questions are on the table. and in our own lives. >> but i think an important point, here's my reading of your book which is more important it seems to me. that's all true what you just said. but it caused us to rethink our lifestyle. >> absolutely. >> that's the crucial point you make. >> absolutely. it's like people who have heart attacks. and suddenly they think oh, i have got, i'm not living the way i should if i want to live awhile longer. >> i can't be 300 pounds and never exercise if i want to live. >> and maybe smoking and all the rest. we for a long time thought there were no consequences. we got that into our heads and it worked pretty well for a long time. and suddenly whack, last fall was like the heart a tand ago now we have to change lifestyle in every sense. >> rose: but do you think that will be temporary as
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often is. >> it isislways temporary. and the question is how long the temporary period will last. we have a fairly brief moment historically. a few years to try to get back on track and get back in touch with the american values of discipline and prudence and frugality and those things. and inevitly we'll start, you know, we'll put the pedal to the metal again and probably end up in a ditch in 2024. >> rose: tell me about the story the aunt and -- the ant and the grasshopper. >> we all know the story. >> rose: i want to you tell it. >> the ant in the table was the prudent, hard work, careful collecting food for the winter character. the grasshopper didn't do that, partied, partied, partied. sang, danced. and winter comes. and the grasshopper is in big trouble. my views as i was thinking about what had happened over the last 25 years what has happened over the last 200 years in american history is that americans are both. americans have the ant this
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in them and the grasshopper in them to a degree that i don't think -- i think that almost defines our national character this wild and crazy speculative side. and this disciplined hardworking sober yankeeee founder side. and we indulge one for a while, then that doesn't work so well or it gets boring. then we indulge the other. and now it is time to sort of get back in touch with our inner ant. >> what might play a role in, other than this book, in making this point and encourage a kind of catharsis about everything? >> well, i think people did, you know, not all at once and people don't change 180° overnight. we're talking about, you know, 45° if we're lucky. 90° if we were really lucky. i think people did understand that hey, my life, you know, worrying about whether i could afford, get an extra tv or this bigger house i couldn't afford and didn't really need, i think people really have recalibrated what makes them
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happy and the difference between what they passingly want and what they really need. >> rose: you make that very point. we have to determine what we need and what we -- >> i think. i think. and i think in my experience people are doing that. and then there a a lots of people that are out of work and feeling real pain. and in some cases, i'm not saying this is a great, i don't see a silver lining behind every cloud but i talk to a lot of people who have been put out of work in the last nine months who actually, you know, what choice do they have. they have to figure out what to do next. the ones i talked to, a lot of them are saying why don't i do something that i really might love to do rather than this other than thing that i stumbled into that was a way to earn a living for 10 or 20 years. the unthink handled to individuals who get laid off. to the country. and in terms of the financial system. and my point is that we can keep thinking the unthinkable but on the upside. >> rose: do you think we are entering a new age of politics in the sense that sort of we are entering an age of government
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intervention and government playing a larger role in our life. >> again, not to reduce everything to historical cycles that are out of our control but to some degree if you look at 225iers of history, yes. >> rose: the 30s all over again. >> i don't know if this is the 30z all over again. but it's not the 80s all over again. the '80s finally after 25 years essentially operating ended and yeah, the idea, this idea that no regulation is the best regulation and that's all you need to know, i think is at an end. and some degree of one hopes subtle careful --. >> rose: but that is clear to see that. everybody talks about we have got to have a new regulatory framework. >> a year ago, two years ago that wasn't so clear. >> how clear was it. >> obviously it wasn't but what else about beyond that, i mean regulation is the easy one. in terms of what's the role of government ought to be. should the government go around and saving failing companies. should the government -- >> well, i think that shall did --. >> rose: should the government be owning shares
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of major american corporations, should capitalism become some kind of -- >> no and i think this administration made very clear that they don't want to be in that business. they don't want to be socialists. they don't want to nationalize things. >> rose: or social democrats. >> well, whichever. but i think it's a little bit like iraq. you're there, okay. maybe we shouldn't have invaded but we're there. so let's try to make the best of it. i think that's how any administration and this one is reacting to the financial crisis. okay, it happened. let's make the best of the bad situation. let's, yeah, we'll try propping up. >> have the surge. >> the giant banks and we'll try buying a share of the auto industries. >> many people have said i think hank paulson said at first it's a very hard sell to say if i didn't do this things would be much worse. >> yes. >> that's a hard sell. >> it is a hard sell. although of course in terms of national security, the bush administration made exactly that claim for many years of saying if we didn't do all t tse things we did, look, we didn't have any terrorist attack in the united states in the last
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eight years. so thas can made. but it is a hard sell. as i say in the book. one of the things i think politically that this reset opportunity is, is to get, to not let the extremes politically. so manage and govern the discourse whether it's the professional left wingers or the professional right wingers. i think the majority of americans really are neither of those things. and indeed there is a consensus. but the professionals in washington and on other television channels were invested in preaching to the choir. the respective choirs. and i think, i hope that when the whole thing went kaflooey it gave people a lot of people in that big middle the opportunity to say hey, let's figure out what works. let's not just stick with our talking points of the right or the left. >> lots of books have been written about sort of that 19th century belonged to britan. 20th century belonged to the
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united states and 21st century belongs to china. >> i think it's, you know, i look at a lot of historical parallels in reset. and the -- if you look a hundred years ago right now, england was at the height and as it turned out the end of their great century of power in every realm. and who was about to beat them, this big upstart feverish, ambitious nation manufacturer to the world, you know. so there is a chance that we, our best years are behind us and we become sort of a supersized great britain for the next 100 years. that's possible. i think it's avoidable if we sort of go back to our first, some of our first principless and american values like technological creativity. like what i call the amateur spirit. which is not abdicating everything -- >> talk about amateur spirit. that is a very interesting point you made. >> i really think this country is a country of amateurs in the literal sense. ben franklin and thomas
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jefferson were amateur politicians who put together this country. when it came here in the 19th century was amazed and love the fact that our political class were not a bunch of professional politicians like they were in france. >> people didn't leave college to go into government. >> that's right. they were amateurs it. when you look at inventors from the wright brothers to steve jobs, they really had this passion for what they were doing. yeah, they wanted to make money, probably. but it was really about the passion. and that, that really is part of what makes us great. >> you reminded me because it's in the book about remembering what steve jobs said. he said it in a famous speech he made at the sanford business school. >> yeah. >> what he said about the most freeing time for him was when he was, he lost his company. >> he was sacked. >> he was sacked from apple. >> and he had to sort of start all over and he went and bought and created pixar and got back at apple. but what did he say about that period for him? >> he said that he suddenly
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felt's great lightness of being freed of this, of this, you know, success. and that after having this success that he was suddenly freed to reinvent himself. to do what he wanted to do. to be creative. and you know, i really do think that's an applicable lesson to us as individuals as we've been knocked off our horses this last year. and as a country. >> this from in time, august 3rd, this is part of your blowing on "time" >> for a while i have been. >> in the reset paradigm. >> yeah. >> yes, it's true and the problem with the reset metaphor, the idea of pushing a reset button is it's implication that the excesses and madness and dysfunction in our complex economic systems can be fixed easily. >> right. and americans, another american trait i think is believing in wishing for push the button, easy solutions. and this isn't going to be
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easy. and as you look at the health-care bill and everything else going through washington these last months you see, it is a sausage making factory. and i can talk about how wonderful it is that we now have this opportunity to reset but seeing it actually done is a slow, ugly process. but i am hopeful that by the end of it we're going to be in a better place than we were before. >> rose: telelme about the sear sucker. >> well, charlesie, it's -- it's a sear sucker suit and when it's hot as it is today in new york city. >> rose: with the horn rim glasses and the sear sucker suit, you look like you could play right out of any movie southern lawyer. >> oh, really. >> rose: or southern law professor. >> i will take that as a compliment. >> rose: who does something interesting apart from teaching constitutional law. >> really, it's the jimmy stewart character. >> rose: more southern than the jimmy stewart character. >> gregory peck. >> rose: more gregory peck, to kill a mocking byrd, maybe. >> i will differ to your judgement about what is southern and --.
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>> rose: all right. reset. how this crisis can restore. our values and renew america. >> it all started with a dream one night, filmmaker sophie barthest stood together in line holding their souls in boxes. that vision inspired a screenplay featuring a character named paul giomatti and after i chance meeting with the real paul giomatti at the nantucket film festival it became a movie. the movie is called "cold souls" and here is the trailer. >> can't see my feet. i see my feet. >> paul what is going on with you? >> you want to take a break, paul. >> i have this throb in my stomach. i have a pain in my chest like somebody put my heart
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in a vice and just tightened it. >> things can be pretty strange around here recently. >> i feel stuck. as your soul weighing you down. >> i wasn't quite sure about the services provided. >> the only offer, possibility to desoul the body or disembody the soul. >> believe me, when you get rid of the soul everything makes so much more sense. >> good luck. >> how are you feeling? >>. >> well, maybe lighter, yes, slight, light. >> the first few days were fine. >> are you sick? >> no, just the usual stuff. >> now i've been sick as a dog. i can't make love to my wife. >> you smell different, feel different. >> i can't feel a thing, nothing. i can't feel anything. i just want my soul back. >> this has never happened before. we probably shipped it to
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our new jersey warehouse. >> oh, god. >> how did we get to this point. >> this is a serious business, soul trafficking. >> you know where it is. >> your soul is in russia. >> what? >> well i'm really sorry that things didn't work out with al paccino. >> joining me now the film star actor paul giomatti and director sophie barthest i'm pleased to have both of us here. so let's get to the dream first. what did you dream. >> twa did i dream. i'm so story for paul because he heard that so many times. i dreamed that i was in the office very much like the
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office in sleeper i had just seen the woody allen movie sleeper and i was holding this box and woodie allen was in line with other patients. we were all hold august a quite box an our souls had been extracted so the doctor came and said we will look at the shape of our souls. and so when woody allen's turn came and he opened his box his soul was just a little chick pea and so in the dream he is very fij ety, nervous and up set about it. >> rose: and how much longer was there a movie in your head, how long did it take to have a movie. >> well, when i woke up from the dream i thought sometimes you have the dream that aren't very narrative but just impressions. but this one was strangely narrative and it had this absurd premise. >> rose: from the beginning the character was called paul giomatti. >> the idea what to have woody allen playing the role but just for, you know, a few weeks. and then i thought. >> -- >> unavailable.
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>> no, sometime --. >> rose: he wasn't making movies. >> i happened to be available. >> rose: you were at home watctcng tv. >> exactly. >> rose: so she comes up to you in nantucket. >> yeah, she brought up, well. >> rose: i have a movie named after you, are you available for the role. >> yeah, kind of, basically. she approached my wife who, and told my wife the story and my wife pulled her over to me and said you should listen this woman's story and i thought -- and she told me and --. >> rose: i have heard this before. >> please, leave me alone. and the premise of it actually sounded so great i thought this actually does sound great. then he is sent it to me, i read it, i thought it was great. >> rose: evidently she wasn't finished with the script and you said send it anyway, i will take what you've got. >> exactly. and it was fantastic. i loved it. >> rose: so what is our perception of a soul here. >> the idea is not to give any definition of the soul but just be playful with the metaphor. that it's a strange muscle and you can either let it shrink or you can take care of it and try to expand your
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soul as if it's tissue of feelingsnd moods. >> rose: but is it some kind of guide and protector of values? >> i wouldn't that be moralistic about the soul. >> somebody did say and i don't want to -- i'm always wired to put any construction on something because it pisss sophie off. i don't want to piss on sophie, the nice french lady. >> rose: exactly. after all she brought us a movie. >> she gave me a job. >> rose: exactly withness but if somebody says it seems to financial a bit like a superego like a regulating device, not necessarily in a moralistic way but it seems to take away some idea, the guys self-involved to begin with and i take the soul away and i become more, i'm horribly self-involved. >> it's interesting because you have people say they're soulmates. then you have people say he has no soul. >> right. >> he's got a lot of soul. >> in a positive way. >> but i still don't -- it seems to me it means somehow authentic or there's something --
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>> right or it seems sort of to me in some ways in this movie to suggest some sort of ability to empathize with other human beings. >> soul gives you that. >> seems like it. >> so then you want to get rid of your soul so you can play in uncle -- >> uh-huh. >> why do you need to get rid of your soul. >> well, the guy is just, in the movie -- it's not the smartest idea. he clearly is an actor. what do you wantness. >> so i mean he figures he's having so much, he feels overburdened. his own soul is troubled and then he's playing. he's taking on this other russian character's fraught soul so i think he just feels like he's got a surplus of things going on so maybe he'll relieve himself of something and make it easier for him. and it does make it in his mind easier for him to dones. >> to play off. >> and in his own mind. >> is this science fiction? >> i think so. it's maybe more absurdist than science fiction. it is -- they're not -- >> which means no money.
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>> too much --. >> this your first direct orial this is your direct orial debut. >> were you scared? >> i was a bit intimidated. >> just, you know to direct. >> working with great actors. >> really big actors so i was a bit, the first few days i was a bit worried but then you forget about it, you're just shooting. >> and so then this is what directors and producers do. you have to choose between going to minneapolis and going to st. petersburg. >> right, exactly. >> and we probably could have gone to minneapolis with this but we went to st. peters. >> why did you go to st. petersberg rather than minneapolis. >> well, a particularly fine townment i don't want totoet letters from people in minute at -- minneapolis. >> al franken's place. >> exactly. i think it always matters. location can really give you an enormous amount. >> rose: what does it give an actor. >> it gives an enormous amount, i always love going to these strange locations,
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particularly if they're relevant to the movie. if i have to shoot new england and i'm in buddha pest and these a little weird. >> rose: or miami. >> exactly. that's a little strange but if i have to be in cleveland and the movie is about cleveland and i can really be in cleveland for a while. >> rose: you soak it up. >> it gives you everything. so st. petersburg, it gave you a whole lot. and it was all, we had russian actors and from st. petersburg. so it mattered. >> rose: does russia have a soul. >> yeah, i was going to say. st. petersburg has a heavy soul. you can feel it in the architecture and there is a heavyness there, in the middle of the winter. >> rose: heavy meaning gravitas or something else. >> the light is different t is very green light. there is only four hours of daylight during the winter. >> rose: in st. petersburg. >> in the winter. >> rose: four hours of daytime. >> it's higher up than you would imagine. it closer to the arctic circle than would you think. so it's winter --. >> rose: i would be depressed. >> there you go. that is why everybody is
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depressed it is very melancholy. >> you feel the melancholee, that is the reason why all the poets were living in st. petersburg. >> rose: because they had nothing to do but write poetry. >> exactly. >> reduced to writing poetry. >> rose: they have a good museum there too. >> a very strange museum. >> rose: so did you have any reservations about doing a movie and with your name as the lead character. >> i didn't really. no, i'm glad i showed up to just say that. no, i didn't really. i mean it didn't feel any more or less of a character than any other character i played. no, to be -- the short answer to it is no, i didn't really. i didn't want it to in any way actually resemble me. i wanted it to be a character. >> rose: but she thought of you and your persona when she wrote this screenplay. >> that's more what it was about was persona rather than actual person, does that make any -- actuality. persona and i like to think that persona is different
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from the actual personality. >> rose: how does one act without a soul? >> well, that was again, sort of the idea of removing some sort of regulating device so that the guy --. >> rose: would be better. >> well, we be overly confident. there this kind of sense of him beinginging incredibly full of himself in some way. so that's mostly the idea that soph yee wanted me to pursue, was that it's the narcissism increases tenfold. >> rose: but one thing we noticed is that he may be more profound but he has a -- ambition. >> the biggest thing he is worried about is my career is over. that's the major thing, good god wa, have i done to my career. that's it i means that's exactly what has. is that that what he cares about. >> so when you set about to make this, what were you worried about? >> do we get it.
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>> the tone, because the tone is very tricky. >> rose: what does tone me. >> you know, it's on a diatribe between melancholy and sometimes slapstick and comedy. so it's difficult you try to infuse it with some sort of comedy but are you asking a lot from the audience to have to shift from these moments of laughter and then it becomes really serious. so i was worried about nailing the tone. but i think paul has this, he's so versatile an actor he has this capacity to be dead pan and slapstick. >> how did you get him to approach the idea of acting badly? >> he hired me. >> we had different, we mr. worried about different things. i knew coact well. he couldn't pull vania well and he could do the badly actingment and i was worried that the acting badly would fall very flat. >> rose: i read an interesting thing about you which basically went like
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this. that the one thing you were vein about is not being vein about being vein. >> right. i'm vein about not being vein. >> rose: about the idea that you may not be carry grant. >> right. no i think that's true. >> rose: or george clooney or that kind of actor. >> i think it's a bit of a kind of macho thing. it's a little kind of, it's a funny sort of -- it's nothing pragmatic about t i'm not ever going to look like those guys. so there is a certain pride i take it in in a funny way. no, i'm not one of those guys. >> rose: did you always believe though that you would reach the point that you are, that somehow you cared enough h enough talent, enough will -- >> i had -- when i started out i had a funny capacity, i didn't, i always thought i would work. i don't think i thought it would go any interesting, i mean i hoped it wouldment but i always felt like i
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would work, yes. but where it would go, i didn't know. and i liked that about it, not having any particular goal except to just work. and d i managed to do that. >> rose: and how much direction does he like? >> he takes, i was surprised, you know, an acker that is so accomplished, he takes any direction. >> this is not to include myself in this category but i think good actors do take direction. >> rose: you should be in the category and a agree with you. >> meryl streep who you were speaking about, i have heard her say that she will do a couple of takes but then that's what she did going to do. so if you want her to do something, give her direction. he she wants it. >> it was very different to work with american actors and rush arne actors. because russian ackers are heavily trained in the strap -- method so they need an intention to open the door. >> they have to talk about it a lot. >> yeah.
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with paul it was easier. i think he is a little bit like a grand piano, can play any notes. >> rose: especially if you say it in a french accent. >> exactly. exactly, very sharp. i'll do anything. >> rose: say it again. >> exactly, , ll do anything. thank you, pleasure to meet you. thank you my friend, great to see you again. are you off next to see a movie with dustin hoffman. >> i am, barn yee's version. see you then. >> yes, sir. peter levene is here, the chairman of lloyd's of london the world's largest and oldest insurance market it posted a $1.9 billion pound profit for 2008. it's third most profitable year. unlike many of its u.s. and european rivals, lloyd steered clear of the complex investment products that nearly halted the global financial system last fall. the british market has is expanding into asia, latin america and the gulf oil states.
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i'm pleased to have lloyd levene back at this table. welcome. >> charlesie, good to see you. >> cha is your assessment of where we are in this global economy? >> well, i think that if you look at what happened in the last 18 months it's been tremendous meltdown. and a change in the system dramatically. i think it's also showing a big shift in real economic from west to east. i was in china ten days ago. and i get it frequently, i was on the board of the second largest bank in china. and they're just getting on with building their economy and building up the country. and of course they have trillions of dollars sitting there. and i think, they are very realistic now. and they are very well versed in the ways of the world. for them to do anything which damages the value of dollar when they've got so much of their own wealth tied up in dollars would be pointless. so they -- >> and counterproductive.
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>> totally counterproductive. and i think they're realistic enough to see that. and i don't think they have any particular interest in wanting to -- >> they want to grow their own economy. they want to grow what they've done in their country. >> and they know that growing their own economy as they see it is crucial to social, to tamping down social tension. >> well, of course. because you've got the regions where people are doing very nicely, thank you very much. and you go further inland and they've got a hell of a lot that they are waiting for. >> but stimulus program they have has worked, 500 plus billion dollars. >> yes. >> are they going to be back at 7 and 8% growth rates. >> yes. >> in 2010. >> absolutely. i think they are still looking at 8% this year. >> this year. so maybe up to 9, maybe -- >> well,. >> and india is doing the same, do you think or is that -- >> i don't know. mi far less familiar with what is going on. but i think having had the election in india which the first time has given them a pretty strong mandate in the government, i think they will be able to move ahead much more easily than in the past where there have been so many political factions
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fighting to try and be on top of things. so i think india has the ability now to get into much stronger position than it was in beforehand. >> most people look at india and china as leading the economic recovery. and perhaps brazil coming in and then the united states and they see europe lagging. >> well, i would agree with you about this. china, india, brazil. i think they are already showing it. they are already goinging that far. 9 united states knew far better than i how things are going. but you still see both in the united states and in europe news of job layoffs and although the financial sector seems to be in less bad shape, let's put it that way, the real economy, one hopes against hope that things are going to look better. but you still keep reading about job layoffs. and until that really turns,
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and i don't know if that is going to happen before the end of this year, it's very difficult to tell how, when we're going to come out of it. i don't think it a question of if, of course we will come out of it. >> so when we come out of this, when the global economy is back, what will be different? >> i think there will be a lot more caution. people are going to be a lot more cautious about what they're investing in. i think governments are going to have to be more cautious. i think the companies going out and doing multimillion dollar acquisitions are going to be a lot more cautious. and that may not be a bad thing. it's been said that if you analyze a lot of the merger acquisitions taking place in recent years, the numbers where there has been genuine two plus two equaling more than four, are not so great. so if people are going to look at things around more carefully, i think we should go along with that. and i think that they have a chance to get us into rather better position than we have been in for the last few years. >> we'll talk a bit about your business. when you look at what
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happened to aig what do you say? >> well, aig has been the largest insurer in the world. aig got into very serious trouble as a corporation. because -- >> they bought a financial products division. >> exactly. which had nothing to do with their insurance business. >> and they did it because it offered, they thought, a rate of return that would just enhance its stock value. >> i'm sure that they did it because they thought it was a good idea at the time. but if we look at -- >> why didn't you do it? >> why didn't we do it? >> yeah, because we didn't think it was a good idea. >> why do we have two different opinions. what made you sure it was not right and they thought it was right. >> well, i cannot get inside what their thinking was. what i can tell you what our thinking has been. our thinking has been that years gone by, lloyds got itself into serious trouble. >> right, exactly. >> fortunately we got out of that mess and we are in a very strong position. and we said we're not getting into that position again. therefore any risky proposals that come along, no, thank you very much. for the last three or four
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years we will have various finance houses come along saying you're sitting on a lot of cash. we have some great ideas for you as to how to use that cash. and they would be quite complex and we would look at them and say very kind of you, but no, thank you very much. and they would say you know what, are you really boring. and i have to say --. >> rose: and you are missing your chance to make a lot of money. >> well, i have to say today being a little bit self satisfied about it, we can say boring is beautiful. >> rose: what's interesting what you just said is that you learned about risk in a way that had pro found -- profound impact. >> our whole business is risk. >> rose: is that what is going to be one of the lasting legacys of this global crisis? >> well, how long --. >> rose: a different appreciation of risk. >> risk is very important. risk for lloyds is the whole of our business anyway. but if you look on the narrow perspective of it is how this economy and how business is going to grow
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and change in the future. then i think it's a question of how much people actually take note of that experience in the past. and i talked to a lot of people who said well, we've got younger people here who have never been through such a bad situation that they are in now. some of us have had to deal with in the past. and we have been rather more risk averse. and i think that the likely outcome is that the present generation will become more risk averse. but how that long that lasts through their collective corporate memory of it remains to be seen. >> so what ought to be the new regulatory framework? >> well, the new regulatory framework has to be one that allows the businesses to work. and in the financial sector, you cannot run a business with no risk. if there is no risk, there is no business. because somebody has to stick their neck out in an intelligent way. >> right. >> so if you cut off every
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single element of risk, then you're going to leave a very narrow window of opportunity for business. what you have to do is to say there will be risk out there. but we're going to examine it far more closely than we did in the past. and unless the ris something within a parameter that we're prepared to accept the downside of if it goes wrong, then we're just not going to do it. >> but one of the aspects that the president has spoken to and people, secretary and others is that this, what is essential is global regulatory restraints. >> well, global is all very well and we have sort of demi global. we have demi global in europe where the eu won't put on in the financial sector. they won't have an you beer regulator in brusels who controls everything. in london we don't like that idea at all. i'll tell you why. the two financial capitals of the world, and it doesn't mater who is number one and number two have been and
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still are -- >> london versus new york. >> it not even london versus new york. it's london and new york. and they've been able to process, they've been able to do well because they've run things in a pretty good way until things started to go horribly wrong. do you therefore need to fix the regulation, yes. but dow need to have regulation which is fixed in such a way that nobody is able to operate, no. and we believe particularly in london i think the same is true in new york, that we should be able to have our regulators working, having learned from the lessons of the past, and working within a framework that if are you going to have in europe, and let's take europe for an example. if are you going to have a framework which lays down the major parameters, that's fine. but when it comes to actually being the day-to-day regulator, we want the local regulators to do that who understand it. and we don't want to get into a position where we are stifled by regulators who don't understand this
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business. we need to have the people understand it and who are used to it. >> have you followed the american regulatory recommendations of the obama administration? >> i've been looking at the insurance ones because those are the ones that affect us the most. which are a step in the right direction if and when they are put into effect. but i don't think for the. is administration the insurance regulation is the biggest issue. it's clearly the banking. >> no, it is, but it's also clearly an administration that wants to put more power in the federal reserve. >> yes. >> and also it clearly has this consumer aspect to it that they constantly underline. >> well, why not. you know, i mean the consumer is the voter at the end of the day. you have to look after the consumer. you have to do it on a sensible basis. and of course in the u.k. we've had this new constellation between the treasury, the bank of england and the ssa. and for whatever reason it hasn't worked well and that needs to be changed.
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and there's a lot of work being put in now and a lot of people have different viewss too which way to fix it. we have to get it right. >> take me and just inside of, when are you sitting at your office in london and are you on the phone with people around the world and are you sitting there with your principal advisors and you look out and say, okay, what is our assessment of where the world is going. >> well, for us, and i'm talking narrowly about our own business, number one market in the world is the united states. our number two market is the u.k. and our number three market interestingly enough is canada. and i don't see --. >> rose: where is china. >> well, china is a long way down the line. but you know, in 5 years. >> rose: if you look at wealthy individuals and wealthy corporations as -- >> no, we're just looking at the insurance business. and where the insurance business is going to be coming from. >> rose: okay. >> if are you look at it much more broadly and we're saying what's coming up, yes then china is moving up very fast. china it depends which statistics you consult but it's either now the second
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or third largest economy in the world. and in the fullness of time one day will change to be the biggest economy of the world. and that is where people have got to look. and the chinese, i think the chinese is stocking it, saying what can we buy with the dollars that we've got because this there help us. you know what we've got 1.3 billion people here f we get this economy going right, there this is going to be a megaa market for us. >> if we get them so they are participating, they will make the demand that the united states does now. >> but charlie, this is what they are doing now. the chinese have given discount vouchers to the rural areas for people to go out and buy fringes and tvs on. the base thas they're going to stimulate the demand. and it's starting to work. and nass's why, i think f what they are predicting is correct, they are going to get back to 8% growth. >> rose: are you impressed with the leadership over there. >> look, their leadership works from a very different basis from ours.
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>> rose: yes, it does. >> but if you --. >> rose: called democracy, demand economy. >> absolutely. but how do you judge it. if you judge it by results, if you go around the country --. >> rose: i'm judging about the quality of the men and women who lead the country. >> i think they're very smart. i was in the world economic forum in january and heard a lot of the world leaders speaking there. and you had premier speaking and i listened to him. and i've heard him and i've met him. but i listened to what he said and i thought this is a western politician speaking. >> rose: exactly. >> he ask a smart guy. >> rose: yes. >> he really is. >> rose: you know what is interesting ask to talk to americans who go to china or india as well, what questions are they asked. you know, and you get from people without go to china that there is an intensity of they want to know everything they can learn that you know. they want to just, you know, be a sponge in absorbing everything you know. and as a growing confidence
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in what they can do with it. >> well, we have 70,000 chinese students at university just in the u.k. today. >> rose: yeah. >> they're learning english. they're learninged subjects we have. and they go back and put it into affect. and if you there, people can say this is just a show piece. but if you went as i did the last couple of days in the olympics and saw what they did if beijing, and i was there ten days ago, the most amazing thing what i saw, wasn't the olympics. friday before last, i went to a concert in the national center for the performing arts if beijing. most spectacular building, i don't know if you have seen it, absolutely amazing. went to a concert there. who was performing? the national symphony orchestra of washington, d.c. it was a wonderful, wonderful performance. i saw it live in there. with a huge audience of chinese. who were cheering to the rafters. and i said to a colleague of
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mine who was sitting next to me who was an american. i i id would you have believed 25 years ago that you could be doing this in here in this place. and he said n n in a million years. and that's what's changing. >> rose: the new world. >> it is a new world. >> rose: tell me how you think president obama is doing, and what -- and what it is that you think people expect from america under his leadership. >> well, i think what most people believe, the president is now doing is that he's got a different approach to things. when you hear him ask about something, he stops and he thinks and he gives a measured reply. now whether you agree with his reply or you don't, it's not just a off pat here we go. it a measured reply. >> rose: and that's impressive for people like you. >> that is impressive. you see someone whose's thinking. now whether it is the best answer or not remains to be seen. >> rose: do you have great concerns about some of the
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decisions that this administration has made. >> it's too early to say. i mean you know, give the guy a chance. he hasn't been there that long and he was dealt a pretty lousy hand of cards to pick up. and still, you know, whenever he appears in europe, he is acclaimed. he's regarded as a new breed of politician. the people respect, now --. >> rose: and who has the command of the language. >> he certainly has a command of the language. and the proof of the pudding is in the eating. once we see the effect of what he is trying to do now, if it works, he will be the great hero. if it doesn't work, then he won't. so give the guy a chance. >> rose: what do you think is likely. >> i don't know. >> rose: so what can we say about the chelsee football club owned now by roman -- >> he has owned it quite a lolo time. since he owned it it's done very well. they had a pretty quick -- of managers going in and out am they brought in one last season, a brazilian who wasn't a great success.
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they brought in the manager of the russian team on a standby parttime basis who did an amazing job. and if it hadn't been for some rather extraordinary referring decisions they would have won the european cup. but you know they're a good team and we're looking forward to see what they do next season. >> it's your passion. >> it's not my passion but it's a great release. >> what's your passion? >> my passion i suppose is my family. >> and what about the formula a e s that going to -- >> that's a real mystery. >> amazing. >> the financing of that is off. >> it needs some -- >> yeah. it's great to see you as always. >> charlie, thank you very much. >> lloyd's of london continues to be successful. >> thank you. >> under your leadership. >> did they have to give you special dispensation s syou could serve another term? >> yes. we had to actually had to go a new act of parliament but --. >> rose: nothing like being wanted s it. >> it is nice that somebody wants you. >> thank you again. >> thank you very much.
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>> is. >> fpding for charlie rose has been provided by the following:. >> additional funding for charlie rose was also provided by these funders
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Charlie Rose
WHUT August 11, 2009 9:00am-10:00am EDT

News/Business. Paul Giamatti. (2009) Actor Paul Giamatti; Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales. (CC) (Stereo)

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